Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director, MI, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Pinsak Suraswadi, Director General, Pollution Control Department (PCD), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, at the PCD Office on June 19, 2023.
A number of important issues were discsused during the meeting, among them transboundary haze in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and opportuniteis for MI to contribute to monitoring and other measures. Both parties shared their grave concerns about the frequency and the severity of the haze issue. As the region is slated to enter an El Nino weather pattern during the second half of this year, concrete measures need to be outlined.
Mr. Suriyan echoed Dr. Pinsak’s concerns as the impacts are far reaching, affecting public health, have social and environmental consequences as well as undermining the ongoing COVID-19 recovery and economic cooperation and integration.
To add to the discussion, Mr. Suriyan indicated the potential complementary support of economic sectors and industry in defining counter-measures, as well as inter-agency and multi-stakeholder cooperation where MI could join forces with PCD.
Dr. Pinsak indicated various possible areas for collaboration with MI both in short and medium terms. For the short term, capacity building support to Myanmar and Lao PDR on the use of satellite information for monitoring of hot spots and risk areas is needed. This will provide a basis for the haze monitoring and early warning and can also be used for future traceability of cross-border products. In the medium term, policy advocacy and integrating transboundary haze counter measures with ongoing economic cooperation and integration will help advance closer and more effective cooperation with the economic sector and industry.
The two sides look forward to further discussing concrete joint activities in the future.